As I was driving to work this morning, on Valentine’s Day, I was thinking about my darling husband, how much I love him and how grateful I am for him. I thought back over our last few years and how much we have been challenged, and how strong he has been in facing a particular challenge of his.
Some of you may not know this but my husband stopped drinking almost 4 years ago. Prior to this he was an “over-indulger”. It wasn’t that he drank every day. Not at all. But rather that when he drank in a social setting, he didn’t have an “off-switch”. He would generally be the person who was drunk first, and would normally be the most drunk there. While in the beginning of our relationship this didn’t bother me at all, once we had Murray this started to play a detrimental role in our marriage and in his ability to be the father he wanted to be.
James is an all-or-nothing person. He is either all-in or all-out. So there was no middle ground on this drinking thing. He couldn’t just drink less, because he knew that his personality didn’t work that way. He would have to stop completely. And this he did.
And he hasn’t wavered, not even once. The day Bella died, I was sitting with our dead daughter in my arms and he was sitting at the end of the bed. The kind doctor who lived across the road and helped us so much on that day, bought in a glass of whiskey and encouraged both James and I to have a big sip to try and help our shock. If there was any time over the last 4 years that I would really have understood if he had given in, it would have been that day, but he never wavered. He explained that he no longer drank and wouldn’t be drinking that afternoon either. I think about how different things could have been, how much more difficult, if he had chosen to drink that day. If he had opened the flood gates to starting to drink again, and the pressure that could have put on our marriage and I am so very very grateful!
I see people’s reactions to him now. When he says that he doesn’t drink anymore and is very open about why. Most people immediately get very uncomfortable and assume that there must be something “wrong” with him. It has changed his friendship groups and the way he socialises.
But whenever I ask him about it, he emphatically states that he never once has regretted his decision to stop drinking. That he is happier and more content because of it. And that he knows that he is able to be the husband and father he wants to be because of it.
Thank you my darling Valentine, you really are one in a million.
I love you